The male member of this duo is fond of saying that he never has any original good ideas of his own, but recognizes the good ideas of others, and gives them credit. The inspiration for this web sites comes from a couple of places:
The week that the Monica Lewinsky story broke, Roger was in DC for an EPA Grant Review Panel. Needing a break from reviewing proposals, and tired of hearing reporters yack endlessly about the possible sexual behavior of two consenting adults, he turned to the Internet to do a bit of research for a trip planned a few months in the future: off trail in the Grand Canyon. Typing "Kanab Creek" into the Hotbot search engine (boy, "Google did not even exist back then), he came across a site devoted to detailed trip journals of hikes in the Grand Canyon. Reading one particular story eventually led to a modification of the proposed trip, primarily because, based on the Internet trip report, the author of the original hiking guide from which the trip was conceived seemed to have "understated" some of the "challenges" of the route. It was clear from this experience that there is a place for more detailed information about interesting hiking and backpacking trips than that which can be conveniently published in hiking guides.
The second form of inspiration has to be from our now-friend Sarah Boomer. She is a professor at Western Oregon University. Her Web Site, formerly the GoBoomSink Home page, and now at thermophile.org, is a work to behold: Tons and tons of detailed descriptions of trips in the Pacific Northwest, and a few more scattered around the western states, as well as international. Yes, her tone is always a tad outrageous, her language a bit salty, but her writing is always entertaining. We never fail to enjoy her adventures. Make sure you check out this inspiration to all web-authors.
Finally, a word or eight about why the trip reports are written in this style. We have had some complaints from readers: there are too many photos, there are not enough photos, the reports are too lengthy, and why do we care what you had for dinner that night?
We have also received compliments from our readers: your trip reports are really detailed, they are fun to read, one can use them as a hiking guide (actually, we have run into folks in the backcountry doing just that), we really appreciate you mentioning the kind of food you eat. We even had one reader say he appreciated our mentioning our backcountry baths, as it inspired him to do the same. (What HAS he been doing all this time?)
Perhaps, one of the points here is that you can't please all the people etc etc…. If such is the case, then why not write the reports they way we want to? Yes, the earlier reports tend to be lengthy and detailed. (Many of the later reports are photo blogs.) Essentially, we try to weave a story into and around the description of the route, so that you get both detailed information about hiking conditions, plus some of the "feel" for the experience of the participants. We figure that if people wanted a terse description of the route, then they would just buy a hiking guide. We have also tried to enhance our trip reports with interactive maps, and photos which the reader might find useful if following the route we describe. We would like to think that by reading these reports, one can get an appreciation of backcountry travel in these locations and that readers will be inspired to see new areas and gain new experiences. So hike safely and lightly on the land. And be inspired.
© Roger A. Jenkins, 2000, 2007, 2015